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Dads and Daughters: The Changing Impact of Fathers on Women's Occupational Choices

From: Journal of Human Resources
Volume 46, Number 2, Spring 2011
pp. 333-372 | 10.1353/jhr.2011.0023



We examine whether women's rising labor force participation led to increased intergenerational transmission of occupation from fathers to daughters. We develop a model where fathers invest in human capital that is specific to their own occupations. Our model generates an empirical test where we compare the trends in the probabilities that women work in their father's versus their father-in-law's occupation. Using data from birth cohorts born between 1909 and 1977, our results indicate that the estimated difference in these trends accounts for at least 13-20 percent of the total increase in the probability that a woman enters her father's occupation.